"An intimate drama about the nature of loneliness."
This is a film about small, personal stories in the lives of different people that happen to intersect in small, random ways. The writing is good. The acting is exceptional. But you shouldn't expect a discernible plot or earth-shattering events. This film creeps up on you slowly, enveloping you in its mood, slowing you to its pace.The story is divided into five sections:
Glenn Close plays Dr. Keener. She is at home caring for an elderly woman and waiting for a call from a potential suitor. She is visited by Christine (Calista Flockhart), who reads her cards.
Christine's lover, played by Valeria Golino, is dying. They spend their time sharing fond memories and aching against the inevitable.
Holly Hunter is Rebecca, a bank manager involved with a married man. She becomes acquainted with a homeless woman who asks her for cigarettes and sees through her facade.
Rose (Kathy Baker) lives with her 15 year-old son. She becomes friendly with a man who moves in across the street.
Amy Brenneman plays Kathy, a detective investigating the suicide of a woman she remembers from high school. She lives with her blind sister, Carol, played by Cameron Diaz.
The film is dark and realistic, both visually and in the writing. There is more talk than action, but the actresses are given well-drawn characters to work with. The film is quite sad at times, a little quirky at times. There are small glimmers of hope that something good will happen to these people. And, if you can stick with the pace, you may grow to care.
The music in the film was very noticeable, which was good at times and bad at times. By the third vignette, I realized the music was purposeful in helping the story to amble along. By the end, it had grown on me.
The overwhelming theme of the movie is loneliness. Some of the women feel it acutely. Others have successfully buried their emotions in shallow connections with people they don't really know that well. For all of them, there is some level of loss, some need begging to be fulfilled. These are people living lives of quiet desperation. It is only when they stop to examine them that they are able to reach out for something more.This movie isn't for everyone, especially if you want a story arc of some kind. But, if you are willing to give yourself over to the mood and the lack of forward motion, there are good and gripping things to see.